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Back In Business with a Bike!

By Chris Allen | June 18, 2017

My first real ride since October’s IRONMAN World Championship has been logged.  Looking at the data from today’s ride it looks like I lost around 24% of muscle/VO2 max in cycling.  Basically I compared my best day’s climb up highway 33 from last year to today.  Some small factors to take in consideration beyond not riding since October, first off I am 10 pounds heavier, my bike is a road bike which is probably around 5 pounds lighter, and I was soloing this effort.  However, my effort was pretty maxed out, averaged around 177 BPM over 50 minutes of climbing.  Overall I have a lot of work to do but it’s not really that bad since I get to play around in the mountains without a TT bike.   Over 10,000 miles of training on a TT bike last year killed me…

HR Data

Giant TRC

Rose Valley

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon & Time to Rest

By Chris Allen | June 5, 2017

Mission accomplished! My brother successfully crossed the finish line at 3:01:42 for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon qualifying him for his first Boston Marathon in 2018.  I had the great job of being his pacer for the 3:02:00 pace during the race.  The race started off on a great foot with the morning weather in the 60s then creeping into the low 70s making for idea running conditions.  The changes to the course this year were insignificant making Mountains 2 Beach Marathon a great Boston Qualifying course.  The first three miles of the race were slightly uphill and after that it was basically an all downhill course for 23 miles.  However, one thing that did catch everyone by surprise was around mile 23-25 there was gradual uphill on the course which dispersed my pack of about ten runners to zero.  Even my brother who was still going strong dropped off my pace of 6:55 a little bit, falling back about 100 feet back.  So as I approached the finish line it was only right to wait and cheer him on until we crossed at the same time.  Actually, I crossed a little sooner, had to beat his time… of course.

After three months of pure running training it’s time to take a break and relax.  I have no planned races or anything in foreseeable future to get ready for.  My sole goal right now is to help Erynne in any way I can to Boston Qualify also, making it a triple in 2018.  Until next time!

Thanks to Dan Holmes for the photos: https://danholmesphoto.smugmug.com/

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon

Mountains 2 Beach Marathon

The Boston Marathon

By Chris Allen | April 23, 2017

The Race

There is no doubt the Boston Marathon is the greatest marathon I have ever been to.  From the professionalism of organizing 30,000 runners to endless sea of people cheering you on, it lives up to all expectations of an epic race.  After watching my girlfriend, Erynne, last year run the Boston Marathon, I was very excited to go this year.  My goal was to break my PR, running anywhere from 2:40-2:55.  As Monday morning came, I was up at 5:00 AM and ready to head to the buses.  The Boston Marathon has a unique late start compared to typical races, 10:00 AM being the first wave, so there is a lot of down time in the morning.  They end up busing you for about an hour to what they call, Athletes’ Village.  Upon arriving to the village, you then wait around for a couple more hours before walking to the start line.  There they have small snacks, drinks, bathrooms, tents, and thousands of runners sprawled out everywhere.  By the time I left to head to my corral you could barely walk due to so many runners in the area.  Also, it’s best to hit the bathrooms as soon as you get there, the lines do get extremely long as the morning drags on.  Once you make it to your corral you then begin to realize just how big the Boston Marathon is, there is zero room for movement.  As the race begins it nearly impossible to pass people for the first ten miles of the race and it’s best just to stick with the pace of everyone else until the second half of the race.  Going into the Boston Marathon I knew it was a downhill marathon, but I was definitely caught off guard by the number of rolling hills hidden in the course profile.  Mile 16-19 has hills but honestly Heartbreak hill was most painful hill.  I completely under estimated how much damage that hill could do to you 21 miles into a marathon.  After finally breaching Heartbreak Hill the rest of the course is much kinder on your ego and legs, in fact I ran my fast splits in the last three miles of the race.  As you make the final left onto Boylston Street you can see the finish line and feel the glory throughout your body as the crowd gets even more intense.  It truly is a sight you must see for yourself.

In the end I broke my PR by 8 minutes, running a 2:49:50 marathon.  I was happy to say the least.

The People

The people of Boston are incredibly friendly to the runners and you’ll receive tons of random “good luck” and “congratulations” the whole time you are in Boston.  Both the business and the people in the city seem to embrace the marathon as much as the runners.

The Food

There is no lack of amazing food in the city and seeing that I am a pizza lover, Boston is paradise for me.  There are endless pizza places to go to and for the most part all of them good.  Beyond pizza, the North End also has amazing Italian food along with Mike’s Pastries famous cannoli.  Getting into Mike’s Pastries can be a challenge in itself.  A hint to all of you, go early in the morning or go right after you finish the marathon, literally right after.

Traveling

Getting around Boston is very easy, you have the subway if you need to get somewhere fast, including going to and from the airport.  Besides the subway for getting around you can basically walk everywhere you need to go for the race and popular destinations.  Erynne and I only used the subway for going to the airport, otherwise we just walked where we needed to go.  The only downside to traveling to the Boston Marathon is the prices of the hotels, they are out of control.  It’s best to start saving now.

 

Boston, MA

Boston Marathon Food - Mike's Pastries

Boston Marathon Food

Boston, MA

Boston Marathon 2017

 

 

 

 

 

My Fastest Run Ever

By Chris Allen | April 9, 2017

Yet another successful week of running volume over 100 miles and I am feeling more confident in my running abilities than ever before.  This is my third week now of training after a few months off to debrief and really study training techniques.  The new training methods that I have now applied over the past three weeks have delivered results I dreamed of and hopefully over Boston Marathon weekend I’ll get time to write about them.

This week ended in fireworks you could say, after 90 miles of running I ended the week delivering a PR 21 miler at 6:18 pace, also snapping my half marathon PR along the way.  Granted it was slightly downhill course except for a few miles uphill, nonetheless the results to me were epic.  By mile 21 I felt great, like it was effortless and I could see it in my heart rate too, as it was only just reaching 170 BPM.

Going into the last week leading up the Boston Marathon my main focus will still be weight loss.  Last week I was able to lose around 6 pounds, dropping from 146lbs @ 7.7% body fat to 140lbs @ 6% body fat.  My volume will stay high leading up the race as I solely view the Boston Marathon as fun test of my speed and where I currently stand.

This week:

Monday: 17.8 Miles @ 8:28 Pace
Tuesday: 15 Miles @ 8:00 Pace
Wednesday: 19 Miles @ 6:18 Pace
Thursday: 19 Miles @ 6:18 Pace
Friday: 10 Miles @ 9:23 Pace
Saturday: 9 Miles @ 9:14 Pace
Sunday: 21 Miles @ 6:18 Pace

 

Another Heavy Running Week

By Chris Allen | April 2, 2017

Another week down and two weeks remaining until the Boston Marathon.  This is by far the highest mileage I have ever done in my life but I am not sure it’s the best running shape I’ve been in.  With three weeks of dedicated training towards running, the Boston Marathon will be the ultimate test.  I’ve changed a lot of training techniques since Kona in hopes they’ll reduce my recovery time, and wasted travel time.   One of these is switching from a lot of outside running miles to treadmill miles.  What got me started on testing the treadmill was being unmotivated by the cold and rains this past winter, I love the heat.  After learning how to combat the boredom and monotony of the situation I soon found it enjoyable.

Except for this Sunday I ran everything inside.

Monday: 20 Miles @ 8:34 Pace
Tuesday: 16 Miles @ 6:11 Pace & 3 Miles @ 9:05 Pace
Wednesday: 15 Miles @ 8:00 Pace
Thursday: 20 Miles @ 6:31 Pace
Friday: 13.4 Miles @ 8:57 Pace
Saturday: 6.4 Miles @ 9:23 Pace
Sunday: 21.3 Miles @ 6:47 Pace

I guess after the Boston Marathon results I’ll have a clearer picture of how it affected my fitness training so much on the treadmill.  One thing is certain for now, the physical impact of running on a treadmill verse concrete is very obvious.  My sole purpose during this time is to study and test things out so I can create the most effective and efficient workouts getting ready for the IRONMAN.

Strava_Run

Nick & I Ojai Run

Ele, Nick, & I